Friday, January 08, 2010

4 Things You Should Know About Vote Buying

Vote buying is already considered a "tradition" in the Philippines. If you're looking for a proper defintion of this phrase, you're out of luck because it's defined as it is - candidates for political positions buy (cash) the votes of the people. It's an unfortunate state of our country but happens in a massive scale.

Before you accept that money - here are things you should know about vote buying.

1. The money you receive did not came from the candidates because they came from your pocket - This is already an obvious data but we are always fooled by what we see. The cash we received rarely comes from the pocket or hard earned cash of the candidates.

2. The more money they give, the more powerful they feel - this is a trend observed everywhere. If the candidates spent millions in vote buying, you can be sure that he or she will control everything. They will never care about your welfare because they plant to earn more when they are in power for three years.

3. The bidding war for vote buying is just a taste to come - if the rival candidates in your town are bidding for your vote (one gives out 300 and the other gives 500), be very afraid. The future of your town, district or province will only get worst. Because they have spent more than they expect, they will get everything they spent on taxes and other projects.

4. You don't have to vote for the candidate who gave you money - do not be pressured in voting for the candidate who gave you money. In fact, vote for the person who DID NOT gave you cash for your vote. A vote buyer should never be placed in the office. He or she can't go after you if you don't vote for them. They will not stand behind you on election day.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

5 Ways to Know if Your Politician has Election Fever

Election is just months away and even though our automated poll machine has failed miserably on its latest test (only 30 out of 600), the show must go on. Although we're scared **itless about the possibility of massive cheating, the show must go on. Even politicians believe that the show must go on.

And what a show they are putting up. Every three years, our politicians go on a battle far more complicated, brutal and funny than the Battle of Mactan (except the funny part). The politicians are on election fever and there is no cure. In fact, the more we watch the greater the fever.

Here are the indications that your politician is about to be hot on his heels this election season.

1. Increased block time on radio and television - give your politician credit for giving jobs to retired and sometimes, annoying broadcasters. Months before the election semi-journalists (like me) go on a rampage against the opponent. Additional kudos if the politician gains enough money to spend on television shows dedicated to praise what he has done and thrash the opponents.

2. Legal battle has started - one of the many tricks a politician will use to destroy the enemy is to dig up past problems of go to the court. The weird part is that almost everyone knows about the past problems of the politician and only now that the election is coming they have opted to go to the court. Most of these are just threats so that the people will realize what the politician did but these are just ploys.

3. Posters, calendars, t-shirts, caps, jackets, wall clocks, bags, notebooks, pencils with the politicians name - if you receive any two of these before the end of the month from the same politician, then that politician has the fever. Be prepared because they will spend millions on these things. When that time comes, the fever has landed.

4. Challenge to a debate - this is a bit unique in the election much like the legal battles. To show their true supremacy over their opponents, they will usually challenge their enemy to a debate. Of course, the opponent will just walk away, do not reply or say "no". But after the elections, you can't seem to see them shouting at each other to prove their point.

5. Increasing friends - "paid for by friends of". 'nuff said

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Setting up a Podcast

This year, we are going to have a small podcast dedicated to what is happening in Iloilo. The podcast will be in Ilonggo. Please share this to your friends :)

DVDs of the Maguindanao Massacre? C'mon!

Now this is just insane…

The Optical Media Board is now looking into the piracy of DVDs containing the footage of Maguindanao. The contents are gruesome (allegedly) as you'll see heads were crushed and body practically mutilated because of the massacre. The DVD has been circulating in Mindanao for days. The DVD allegedly contains 4 hours of footage - 2 hours for the first day of digging and 2 hours the next day. According to the newspaper, the DVDs can be purchased for 60 pesos.

There are two conflicting ideas in the report:

The OMB is clearly against this type of "exploitation" earning from a gruesome event is not something a regular person should do.

On the other hand, a lawyer in Mindanao is sees "nothing wrong" with the distribution of DVDs. Because this should show how gruesome some people are in this senseless murder.

Both parties have a point but both parties are missing out something.

For the OMB - guys, you better do something about this fast. The weird part is that you only new this because someone sent in a complaint online. Don't you have guys down there in Mindanao? If there's any place you should be aware of piracy it's in Mindanao. I know Manila is also hotbed for piracy but our brothers in Mindanao are doing much more simply because of the economic situation. Why should I watch "Panday" in MMFF when I can have it on DVD for half the ticket price? Don't just investigate - go down there and do something. Sir Ronnie (Rickets), you should be the one more concerned about this because your movie is also heavily pirated.

For the Lawyer who Encourages the Distribution of the Said Movie - I know how you feel and I understand it. I'm also curious what's inside the DVD. But selling them? I don't see any justice for the families there. The persons behind this distribution are the only ones earning from this mishap. They are exploiting the situation and tries to earn big from it. The earnings should be given to the families but I don't see that happening.

That is why I think the distribution should be stopped. The families are the ones on the losing end of this alleged DVD fiasco.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Zombie Streamers are Coming!!!

The election period will start in January 10 and the current politicians are aware of this restrictions. In fact, they are all aware that they can't tell people to vote for them until the fateful 10th day of January. So what do they do? The circumvent the law and have "political ads" wherein everything is paid for by "friends of...".

The gloves are officially off in January 10, 2010 - Sunday. But it doesn't matter because politicians are already busy convincing people to vote for them one way or the other. You can already see banners of politicians reminding the people what they have done and what they dream for the city. Please take note, they dream of something big but many are still experiencing nightmares.

Before I completely go off topic...I'll just go to my main point. Streamers of politicians are already popping out here in our city and it's only a matter of weeks before the country is engulfed or covered with political banners. These are not just your average banners - they are tarpaulins which costs hundreds of pesos each. The politicians are not just printing 20 banners in an election, tell me if I'm wrong but I think a politician might print no less than 4,000 tarpaulins just to remind people who they are. If a tarpaulin costs 100 (very unlikely) per piece then he or she could be spending 400,000 on tarpaulins alone!

We should also remember the possible implications on paper - we'll ravage forests and cut down trees just to print calendars, leaflets and sample ballots so that everyone will be "guided" on who to vote for in the coming elections. Millions of paper will be wasted just to remind people who to vote for...mother nature is going to go through something difficult this coming election.

All these wasted paper could have been used for books. All these tarpaulins could have been used to shelter someone during a storm. Or at least the money could have been used for something else.

Note to politicians: please tell us who your "friends" who pays for your advertisements and election funds. We also would like to be friendly to them so that we can also have something.

Photo taken from

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Upper 4 Candidates in the 2010 Philippine Election

Yesterday, the 4 "underdogs" were given a quick look for the upcoming election. Today, we're going to consider the 4 powerful candidates and see why they have strong following and might win the election.

* Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III - Noynoy Aquino has gained a lot of praises and criticisms since he declared his decision to run for the top position in the country. Those rooting for him claims that he has been in the government for many years and there are no anomalies attached to the guy. On the other hand, others argue that he is simply riding the popularity of the late president (Cory Aquino) and his hero father (Benigno Aquino, Jr). But he has been the focus of media for many months and many are seeing some good in him. Plus the fact that one of the strongest contenders (Mar Roxas) stepped aside in the party for Noynoy is a big boost.

* Joseph "Erap" Estrada - many argue that the ousted president should not be allowed to run again. If you have read the country's recent history, millions went on the streets to throw Erap out. But don't think that he has no supporters. The former president won on a landslide and his supporters are still strong. The biggest supporter of Erap is actually his VP - Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay. The "masa" support is still strong and he can easily gain a good percentage on the upcoming election.

* Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro - he came into the spotlight when he was chosen by LAKAS KAMPI over Bayani Fernando. He is the former defense secretary and aside from that fact, nothing else is known by regular Filipinos. He is expected to be the chosen candidate of the current president which will do good and bad for him - depending on the voter. His choice for VP is quite odd since he opted to partner with Edu Manzano (OMB Chairman).

* Manuel "Manny" Villar - one of the richest persons in the country is about to be one of the most powerful man as well, if he wins. Manny Villar has already invested millions in advertisements stating that he has been a poor guy once and he can relate to everyone. He used to be the Senate President and he has chosen Loren Legarda as his VP.

These are our options for the upcoming election. Should they provide new wind of hope if they win can only be determined in the future. Let's just pray or cross our fingers (if you don't pray) that we'll improve with the new president.